Sunday, December 24, 2017

Random Thoughts on The Who, Christmas, and Serious Plot Holes

So I was driving home from school on the last day of the semester, and this starts playing in the radio station's 30 minute Christmas music block.

My first thought upon hearing the first notes was, "I have always said this is a Christmas song! Good on this station for recognizing it!" Then the next thought came.

Now understand, by the end of my day, much less week as it was at this point, I am physically and mentally exhausted. Therefore not a lot is going on in my poor brain except going home and chilling out. Basically, my brain is pretty empty at this point of my day. Thing is, there is my writer persona. AND. THE. WRITER. NEVER. SLEEPS.

So the next thought was, "Wait, this song makes no sense. Do these people have the memory span of a newborn? What are they talking about?"

To understand where this is going, let me give a quick rundown of the rock opera to this (the song's) point in the story. (Spoiler Warning, though it seems silly to issue one on a nearly 50 year old album. I mean, really guys.) So, Captain Walker of the British Army, Tommy's dad, disappears while she is pregnant with Tommy. In "1921", (both song and year) she takes on a lover. Captain Walker shows up and kills the lover in a rage. (The random showing up is a problem for me too, but that is a different issue I will briefly cover at the end.) Tommy sees all of this, so his parents, in desperation, convince him he didn't see or hear anything. This causes a psychosomatic response where he becomes "deaf dumb and blind." This is explained in the next song, "Amazing Journey." This song also states Tommy is 10 years old. The third song after this one on the album is "Christmas."

The bothersome lyric for me is the chorus, which goes:
   "And Tommy doesn't know what day it is.
    He doesn't know who Jesus was
    Or what praying is.
    How can he be saved
    From eternal grave?"

Okay, so the song where the murder and coverup happened, this kid was old enough to get out of bed and walk to the room where he got to witness all of the carnage. And he was old enough for these "parents of the year" rejects to know he was capable of understanding what just went down. And the next song clarifies that by actually stating the boy's age. So it is safe to say that Tommy had celebrated 10 Christmases before "the incident." Since he has experienced the holiday, it's also pretty safe to say he knew about Jesus too and all the fun stuff that goes with it, like praying.

Then there is this winner of a lyric:
   "But how can men who've never seen
    Light be enlightened." (Emphasis mine)

This lyric would not bother me if the highlighted word was not included. But it is, so it does. Never seen light? As the French say, que? Once again, Tommy is 10 years old when he goes catatonic on us. I seriously doubt Great Britain had a decade in total darkness. Then as soon as his parents traumatize him, the sun appears. Which leaves them to say, "Damn,wish Tommy could have seen this." Really? Why? Why? Whywhywhywhy?

So that is my problems with the song.

Quickly on my above mentioned issue with "1921." Though I will admit to not knowing how the British Army handles the return of their missing, I don't think it is to just send them home with a pat on the back and a handshake without first notifying the family. I'm fairly sure there were phone calls and meetings, not a "Hey, good to have you back, Captain. Just go on home. Sure the wife will be happy to see you after thinking your were dead for years." What were you thinking, Pete Townsend?

So that is my random rant on Tommy. Sorry if this ruins the future listening experience for you. Welcome to my world after taking Lit Theory. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

So, I planned a writing day...

...and the furthest I got is just staring at the pages. And staring. And staring. And...nothing.

So I posted another poem to the website. And updated my bio, which really needed it. Then I came here, because this seemed like the best place to commiserate about this.

I also know that I have not been here in awhile. Though I love teaching, it is a serious time suck. So, I cannot promise when I will be able to post, despite all of my good intentions to do so. Therefore, I will stop saying that I will be posting by certain times. At least till I can hit a rhythm to my schedule. (As I typed that I heard maniacal laughter in my head.)

So, if I do not get a chance to see you all before the end of the year, Happy belated Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year. Or just in a nice summary, Happy Holidays!!!!